Feds take down one of the largest child exploitation sites; seeks to seize bitcoins


U.S. and Korean authorities have taken down one of the world's largest online marketplace for child pornography, according to an unsealed indictment first cited by NBC News.

According to the indictment, between June 2015 and March 2018, Welcome to Video, received at least 420 bitcoins (approximately $370,000 at that time) through 7,300 bitcoin transactions from users in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea. These bitcoins were used to pay for child pornography videos on the site, which were downloaded over one million times.

Welcome to Video was allegedly ran by Jong Woo Son, a 23-year-old South Korean national. Son is currently serving his sentence in South Korea. In addition to Son, 337 site users from countries like U.S., U.K. South Korea, and Canada have been arrested and charged by local government enforcement agencies.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), law enforcement agencies were able to track Welcome to Video's users by analyzing Bitcoin's blockchain.

"Through the sophisticated tracing of bitcoin transactions, IRS-CI special agents were able to determine the location of the Darknet server, identify the administrator of the website and ultimately track down the website server's physical location in South Korea," said IRS-CI Chief Don Fort. "This large-scale criminal enterprise that endangered the safety of children around the world is no more. Regardless of the illicit scheme, and whether the proceeds are virtual or tangible, we will continue to work with our federal and international partners to track down these disgusting organizations and bring them to justice."

Prosecutors have also filed a civil forfeiture claim to recover funds from 24 bitcoin accounts associated with three cryptocurrency exchanges. According to the DOJ, these funds, through a restoration process, will be returned to victims of the crime.

Recent analysis from The Block found that bitcoin is still by far the most supported cryptocurrencies by darknet marketplaces, followed by monero and litecoin.


More Related News

Democrat Warren vows to use
Democrat Warren vows to use 'every tool' to combat white nationalist violence

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren said on Tuesday if elected to the White House she would use "every tool" at her disposal to combat white nationalist violence, beginning with directing the FBI and Justice Department to put a renewed focus on domestic terrorism. Warren, one of 18 Democrats vying

N. Korea snubs US move to postpone military drill with South
N. Korea snubs US move to postpone military drill with South
  • World
  • 2019-11-19 02:12:11Z

North Korea said Tuesday it won't consider a recent U.S. decision to postpone a joint military exercise with South Korea a concession that can bring the North back to nuclear talks. Senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol said the U.S. must completely scrap that military drill and abandon its hostility against his country if it wants to see the resumption of the nuclear negotiations. Kim's comments were the first direct response to an announcement Sunday by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and his South Korean counterpart that the allies have indefinitely postponed the Vigilant Ace training in an "act of goodwill" toward North Korea.

China signs defence agreement with South Korea as US angers Seoul with demand for $5bn troop payment
China signs defence agreement with South Korea as US angers Seoul with demand for $5bn troop payment
  • World
  • 2019-11-18 14:05:54Z

The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington's long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.  On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to "foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence", South Korea's defence ministry said.   Seoul's announcement coincided with growing resentment at the $5 billion (£3.9bn) annual fee that Washington is...

Little Impact on Korea
Little Impact on Korea's Economy From Japan Trade Spat: Citi

(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Japan's trade curbs on South Korea have so far been a case of "the bark was worse than the bite," with only limited fallout for South Korea's economy, according to Citigroup Inc.Japan's tighter scrutiny of exports of three key materials used in the chip industry and Tokyo's removal of its neighbor from a list of trusted trading partners have had little impact on South Korea's imports of industrial and capital goods, Citigroup economists Marie Kim and Jeeho Yoon wrote in a report Friday. The moves have, however, spurred South Korean efforts to reduce economic reliance on Japan,...

North Korea says it won
North Korea says it won't give Trump a summit for free
  • World
  • 2019-11-18 08:55:45Z

North Korea on Monday responded to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump that hinted at another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it has no interest in giving Trump further meetings to brag about unless it gets something substantial in return. The statement on Monday by Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan is the latest call by North Korea for U.S. concessions ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un for the Trump administration to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal to salvage nuclear diplomacy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Economy